Hunting Zimbabwe

Page Updated: Apr 2020

Hunting Zimbabwe - Despite the political, economic and social upheaval in this country, Zimbabwe remains a popular destination for hunters wanting affordable dangerous game hunting.

Exercise caution and only book hunts with reputable outfitters and make your travel arrangements with expert agents.

Google Zimbabwe and things don't look so good - you will find either links to sites decrying human rights violations, electoral abuses and an imploded economy or you will find their diametric opposites promulgated by various government mouthpieces. If you ignore all that, what you have left is a country that has its problems like any other but offers some of the best hunting in Africa.

Read more about hunting in Zimbabwe from Ira Larivers, Editor of African Hunter Magazine

Zimbabwe Hunting Season

  • There is no set hunting season. June to November is the optimal hunting time

Zimbabwe Climate

  • The higher areas in the east and the High Veld receive more rainfall and are cooler than the lower areas.
  • Temperatures on the High Veld vary from 12 - 13°C in winter and 32°C in summer.
  • Low Veld temperatures are usually 5.5°C (10°F) higher. Summer temperatures in the Zambezi and Limpopo valleys average between 40°C - 50°C.

Zimbabwe Current Weather Forecast


Zimbabwe Map

Zimbabwe Hunting Areas Map

Hunting in Zimbabwe may be conducted on 3 land types which have varying game laws...

  • National Parks Safari Areas or Controlled Hunting Areas which include Matetsi, Tuli, Chirisa and Chete. The National Parks authority decide on the annual quota of animals to be hunted.
  • Communal or Tribal Areas where local District Councils are responsible for the management and utilization of the wildlife. They decide on the annual quota of animals to be hunted and tenders them to hunting companies. The income then can be used on local infrastructure development and to compensate for any crop decimation caused by wild animals. This scheme is known as CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas management Plan For Indigenous Resources).
  • Private land, also known as Alienated land. Hunting quotas are set by the landowner. Care should be taken when hunting private land that the title deeds legitimately belong to the person offering the hunting. Clients from the USA and EU could be prosecuted by their own governments for hunting on re-allocated land which has not been formally sold to the occupier. Care should also be taken that the occupier/owner is not listed on the USA list of persons it is forbidden to do business with.
Click map to enlarge
Zimbabwe Hunting Areas

Zimbabwe Hunting Areas Map

Getting To Your Hunt Area In Zimbabwe

If you are planning to travel to Zimbabwe with hunting firearms, you need to pay attention to the international air route you intend to use. International restrictions on arms to Zimbabwe, including sporting firearms, means direct European and British flights will not carry arms to Zimbabwe. You will need to fly to Johannesburg, formally import your firearms there and use a separately ticketed onward flight to Zimbabwe. Also avoid European hubs where you need to produce a 'letter of invitation' from your hunting outfitter in order to obtain a firearm transit consent document, such as in the Netherlands. As your hunt outfitter will be in Zimbabwe, there is every chance your firearm transit consent application will be refused, even though you are ticketed to South Africa only. Read more here

Depending on the location of your hunt area, you can fly on to Harare, Victoria Falls or Bulawayo. Once in Zimbabwe, your onward journey to your hunting area will be by road or air charter.

Hunting Accommodation In Zimbabwe

Your hunting camp accommodation will either be in tents or permanent lodges with chalets.

Zimbabwe Hunting Terrain

Zimbabwe does not have particularly physically challenging terrain consisting of rolling hills, with Mopane woodland, natural forest and a few flat valleys.

Zimbabwe Hunting Permits

  • A separate permit must be issued for each individual hunting client.
  • Hunting permits (TR2) must be issued prior to the hunt commencing, signed and stamped by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). These must be signed by the client and PH at the end of the hunt.
  • Before the start of a hunt make sure a stamped TR2 - Application for Hunting NP/CITES - Hunting Return Form and a completed NP/CITES Form 11 are provided.
  • The TR2 permit is the 'authority to hunt', a declaration of what was harvested during the hunt, a banking form and an export application permit.
  • The client should look at the TR2 permit to verify that the professional hunter and safari operator listed on the TR2 permit are the ones that he will be hunting with.
  • The client is advised to record the TR2 permit serial number for future reference with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority should there be a problem exporting the trophies.
  • Make sure your PH is carrying a valid licence with the valid date stickers on the reverse. See below.
Zimbabwe PH licence
An example of a Zimbabwe PH licence with kind permission of Don Heath

Zimbabwe Hunting Laws

As mentioned before, the game laws of Zimbabwe vary depending on the type of area you are hunting...

The minimum number of days for a hunting safari is set by the outfitter, based upon the species being hunted and a Government minimum hunt charge for this species.

National Parks Safari Areas

  • All hunting must take place within the hours of daylight - half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset.
  • No electronic calls, night vision scopes or artificial lights are allowed to be used to assist in hunting.
  • Hunting from a vehicle is not permitted, though the vehicle can be used to reach the area from where hunting on foot can begin.
  • You must be more than 50m from a vehicle before shooting an animal.
  • You must not hunt an animal within 400m of any designated watering place.
  • Hunting with dogs is not permitted.
  • Handgun hunting is not allowed though handguns are allowed as a back up.
  • Bowhunting is not permitted.

Communal or Tribal Areas

  • Hunting of certain species may be done at night, such as leopard, bushpig or lion hunting.
  • Use of artificial light or night vision scopes are allowed when hunting at night.
  • Hangun hunting is allowed.
  • Bowhunting is allowed.

Private Land

  • The landowner or outfitter will decide the standards and ethics of hunting on his land.
  • Hunting of nocturnal species may be done at night.
  • Use of artificial light or night vision scopes may be allowed to hunt at night.
  • Hangun hunting may be allowed.
  • Bowhunting may be allowed.
  • Hunting with dogs may be allowed for cats with a special permit.

Zimbabwe Minimum Rifle Energy Requirements

  • Minimum rifle energy requirement for big dangerous game (elephant, hippo, buffalo) is 5300 Joule or 9.2 diameter. Equivalent 3909.0 ft/lbs
  • Minimum rifle energy requirement for very large plains game (giraffe, eland) and lion is 4300 Joule. Equivalent 3171.5 ft/lbs
  • Minimum rifle energy requirement for large plains game (kudu, wildebeest etc) and leopard is 3000 Joule. Equivalent 2212.6 ft/lbs
  • Minimum rifle energy requirement for medium and small plains game is 850 Joule. Equivalent 626.9 ft/lbs
  • Black powder rifles have a required minimum calibre of .40

Special Considerations For Hunting Zimbabwe

Tourists who wish to hunt in Zimbabwe must be accompanied by a licensed operator, who is required to be registered and licensed by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Travelers to Zimbabwe should ask for the operator’s license number when booking a hunt and should check the authenticity of the license by contacting the Zimbabwe Association of Tour and Safari Operators (ZATSO). Visiting hunters are well-advised to seek confirmation that they are not hunting on illegally seized land or on a nature conservancy. Hunting on such lands can expose the hunter to arrest, lawsuits, fines, seizure of trophies, and imprisonment. US Travel Advisory For Zimbabwe

With a series of Executive Orders (Executive Order 13288 of March 7, 2003, Executive Order 13391 of November 25, 2005, and Executive Order 13469 of July 25, 2008) the United States placed targeted sanctions on the property and economic assets of certain Zimbabwean individuals and entities deemed most responsible for undermining Zimbabwe’s democratic institutions. U.S. citizens should carefully review the U.S. sanctions program prior to engaging in the purchase/sale or transfer of money and other assets with a Zimbabwean citizen or entity. Under U.S. law, it is illegal for U.S. citizens or residents to engage in any transaction or dealing with the targeted individuals or other entities designated by the Secretary of the Treasury under this sanctions program. It is not otherwise illegal for U.S. citizens to transact business with Zimbabwean firms and individuals. U.S. citizens intending to engage in business or financial transactions in Zimbabwe are advised to consult the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for up-to-date information on these sanctions. US Travel Advisory For Zimbabwe

Visitors are required to declare the amount of currency that they are carrying into and out of the country. While there is no set legal limit on the amount of foreign currency that a person can carry into Zimbabwe, the maximum foreign currency that can be taken out of the country is US $5000. US Travel Advisory For Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Hunting Species

Zimbabwe Hunting Trophy Export/Import Restrictions

Elephant populations in Zimbabwe are classified as CITES II but also classified as 'Threatened' by USF&W so will require an enhancement permit to import trophies into the US.

Hunting Zimbabwe Recommended Reading

National Parks And Wildlife Management

National Parks And Wildlife Management: Rhodesia And Zimbabwe 1928 - 1990 By Mike Bromwich (2016) relates the untold story of the Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management in Rhodesia and early Zimbabwe. A unique historic, factual and anecdotal account, it tells of the country's founding fathers and their foresight regarding wild life conservation through into the 1960s,'70s and '80s.

Zimbabwe Elephant Hunt 2008

Zimbabwe Elephant Hunt 2008 by David Bartlett is a first-person account of the beauty, danger and corruption he encountered on his travels in Zimbabwe. A thrilling and touching account of one hunter's friendships and close calls. The book outlines not only the hurdles international hunting travelers face when in a heavily sanctioned country oppressed by human rights violations, but also the ways in which the people of these countries rise above it all to welcome visitors.

The Hunting Imperative: Biography Of A Boy In Africa

The Hunting Imperative: Biography Of A Boy In Africa is the biography of Richard Harland, one of the greatest living elephant hunters. Richard learned elephant hunting under the tutelage of Paul Grobler, one of the greatest elephant hunters who ever lived. This is Harland's story.

Hunting In Zimbabwe

Hunting In Zimbabwe by Tony Sanchez Arino is an anthology of the best writings on hunting in Zimbabwe from both old and current writers many of whom are also professional hunters. Writings included from Finaughty, Selous, Brown, Millais, Burnham, Daly, Burger, Marsh, Taylor, Sutherland and many others. This title has become very scarce.

Zimbabwe Hunting Recommended Viewing

Zimbabwe's Glamour Game DVD

Zimbabwe's Glamour Game DVD by Ken Wilson. Hunting of 'cattle-killing' leopards by tracking them with dogs. Other species such as sable, Livingston's eland and greater kudu are also hunted.

Mopani Collection - First Season DVD

The Mopani Collection - First Season DVD is a Roy Aylward film from the Omay Area in the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe featuring 13 elephant hunts, 6 hippos shoots, 7 buffalo kills and finally a leopard attack. There are a total of 30 big-game hunts on this DVD.

Hunting Zimbabwe Resources

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